“First we had the legs race. Then we had the arms race. Now we're going to have the brain race. And, if we're lucky, the final stage will be the human race.” - John Brunner
Algorithms are everywhere. They influence large parts of our lives, from job hunting to the type of ads we see. They are increasingly used in businesses to find trends and patterns. And they carry tremendous authority, since the manufacturers usually show how well the program performed, based on historical data. Yet the public is no authorized to see how the program defines the conditions to reach its conclusion. In fact, the algorithms are perceived as some kind of unbiased, all powerful and all knowing machines, acting neutrally and independently.
It is obviously not the case. The programming behind these software must simplify reality (reducing complexity = reducing the number of potential paths) and rely on historical data. Because of this, algorithms can make mistakes or produce unwanted results such as social fossilization. The poor will be at a clear disadvantage to receive a job and have higher punishment rates. This will impact their ability to secure home ownership and move upward in society.
The faith and money that is supporting the development of these new technologies is staggering, somewhat frightening. In a world where what you said is stored forever, your political statements may turn against you decades later. Your online life can become a liability. Hackers (from the government or independent) can take control of your history and probably harm you in more ways than you would imagine. The new technologies create as much troubles as they try to solve…
Science, General Knowledge & Environment
Heather Heyer’s cousin: Racism will get worse unless we stop it now – It takes the death of a white girl to raise awareness about racism in America, a phenomenon that didn’t disappear and apparently found a new life among young people. The fact that the police let hundreds of armed people chanting racist songs in the streets and the media dutifully brands them ‘free speech marches’ has something troubling. What if Hispanic or Afro-americans did the same? Terrorism.
About Carlito Riego
"Great perfection may appear imperfect, but its usefulness is inexhaustible. Great abundance may appear empty, but its usefulness cannot be exhausted. Great correctness may appear twisted, great skills appear crude, great eloquence appear awkward. Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat. Clear serenity governs the world." - Lao Zi